Occupation and lung cancer risk among women in northern China

Am J Ind Med. 1993 Jul;24(1):67-79. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700240107.


Lifetime occupational histories were obtained in a case-control study of 965 female lung cancer patients and 959 controls selected from the general population in Shenyang and Harbin, People's Republic of China, where most women have worked outside the home. After adjusting for smoking, we found a significantly increased risk of lung cancer associated with employment involving the manufacture of transportation equipment (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.0, 2.6), in particular the manufacturing of automobiles (OR = 3.0, 95% CI = 1.4, 6.4). Metal smelting and treatment workers were at an increased risk of lung cancer (OR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.0, 2.1); the highest risks were observed among metal surfacers (OR = 3.1, 95% CI = 1.1, 9.0) and currently employed foundry workers (OR = 13.0, 95% CI = 1.7, 99.4). On the other hand, about a 50% decreased risk of lung cancer was observed among those employed in textile industries or as leaders of state and party organizations. Based on self-reports, exposures to coal dust and smoke from burning fuel at the workplace were also significant risk factors. The findings were similar when the analyses were confined to nonsmokers and were comparable across the major cell types of lung cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • China / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk